REcycling is Good. PREcycling is Better!

This blog is all about my family and me and our journey to be green.  In other words, we’re trying to be healthier, smarter and care for the planet that we have so graciously been gifted.  I consider us stewards that, at the very least, should make smarter choices and clean up our own messes.

No, I don’t go around hugging trees (tree trunks are “scratchy” and don’t really smell that great), but I do think it’s important that we do our part.  And I assure you, I’m not a finger pointing, Judgey McJudgement, type of gal.  That’s just not how I roll.

This blog is all about our journey and interesting factoids (can’t believe I just typed that word) regarding green living, nutrition for kids, fitness, being a healthy mom.  We’re interested in helping people be the best versions of themselves possible.

So, with all that being said, something occurred to me the other day.  As I watched my son roll the trash can and then the recycle can down the driveway, I wondered if I really WAS doing everything I could.  Because, come trash day, that big, green truck sure gets a workout.

I must say that our actual “trash” can is pretty darn empty on trash day if you consider that the truck only comes once a week.  But our “recycle” can is another story.  Sometimes, it’s almost overflowing.  At one time, I would have felt pretty good about that.  But I can’t help but thinking that I can do better.

So I have decided that instead of concentrating so much on RE-cycling, I will start thinking in terms of PRE-cycling instead.  This is not a new idea by any stretch.  But this is the first time that I’ve really given it the thought it deserves.   And it makes total sense.  In our house, one of the reasons we make better food choices and are careful about our indoor living environment is that we want to PRE-vent illness and disease.  And if our bodies deserve this kind of proactive approach, then surely our planet does as well.  It’s all about being a smarter consumer and a better steward.

Below are some of the steps my family will be taking to eliminate waste BEFORE it starts:

1.  I will keep my reusable shopping bags in my car and use them constantly.  This is a not a new concept for me because I typically take them to the grocery store.  But what about those impromptu trips we moms make  If I always have them with me, there are less excuses.  Did you know that, according to Maddy Frank in her video “The Lifespan of a Plastic Bag”, there are 380 billion plastic bags used in the United States every year?  Staggering!

2.  When I’m purchasing food, I will stick as close to the source as possible and not buy pre-packaged produce.  That means fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, beans, etc.   At Whole Foods, I love how you can buy items in bulk and put them in reusable containers.

3.  If I’m purchasing meat, I will buy larger amounts at one time and separate the cuts when I arrive home by storing them in reusable containers.

4.  I will do my best to forego items that are disposable:  paper plates, plastic cups, paper towels, etc.  But toilet paper is where I draw the line.  I mean, seriously!

5.  If I am buying anything that is “packaged”, I will try to make sure the packaging is recycled.  If the packaging hasn’t already been recycled, I will look for cardboard, glass or aluminum.  There should be a 1 or 2 at the bottom of the package, which are the numbers that indicate they are easily recycled.

Sure, it may take a little more time at the grocery store or other types of stores.  Yes, I will have to don my “granny glasses” a little more often for the purpose of reading labels.  But I think our planet is worth it, don’t you?

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1. Katie Perera

United States

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Scarborough, Canada

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